Stephen Mayne's Menzies history

September 22, 2020

Here is a brief history of Stephen Mayne's connection with the Federal seat of Menzies.

Stephen Mayne was born in Brisbane in July 1969 and the family moved to Templestowe in the heart of Menzies later that year.

He attended Yarra Valley pre-school in Templestowe in 1973, its inaugural year, and later returned to be President in 2006 when his children were attending the same kinder.

Later, he went to Templestowe Primary School and remembers being at school during the televised proceedings of Sir Robert Menzies' funeral in 1976.

Stephen loved his sport as a kid, particularly cricket, and has played for five different clubs in Menzies over the journey: Templestowe, East Doncaster, Doncaster and Fitzroy-Doncaster in the 1980s and then Bulleen Templestowe as a veteran.

He was also a keen tennis players at Templestowe Park and Donvale Tennis Clubs, later returning to professionally coach tennis at Templestowe Park in the early 1990s, where he also put together the club's first State Grade tennis team.

Stephen's 18th birthday party was held at the Memorial Hall in Templestowe and his 21st was held at the Bulleen Tennis Club.

He moved out of the family home in Templestowe to pursue a journalism career in 1990 but always retained that connection visiting his parents.

Over the following 14 years Stephen lived in a variety of places including North Fitzroy, Parkville, East Melbourne, Jolimont, Camberwell, South Melbourne and he also spent two years in Sydney working for The Daily Telegraph and The Australian Financial Review.

However, the family bought a home in Templestowe near Stephen's parents in 2004 and he and Paula have raised their three children - Laura, Alice and Stephen - in the federal seat of Menzies ever since.

The family have been very active in the community participating in Little Athletics, soccer for Manningham United, basketball for the Bulleen Boomers, football and cricket.

Paula was President of our primary school council, where both Laura and Philip served as school captain.

Experience as a City of Manningham councillor

Stephen was elected to Manningham City Council in 2008, receiving the second highest primary vote out of 37 candidates across the three wards.

The Manningham and Menzies boundaries are more common than arguably any other Federal seat which is aligned with a single local government area.

During almost 4 year on Manningham City Council, Stephen served, for at least part of the term, on the following committees:

Manningham Centre Association board
Audit committee
Aquarena advisory committee
Manningham Recreation Association
Transport committee
Sustainable Design Committee
Open Space committee

He also represented Manningham on the Municipal Association of Victoria towards the end of the term.

When Stephen resigned from Manningham in July 2012 to prepare for a shift to Melbourne City Council, the then Liberal mayor Geogh Gough said: “Councillor Mayne has been an outstanding and innovative contributor during this term of Council and his input and opinions will be missed.”

The council as a whole from 2008 until 2012 was noteworthy for unusually vitriolic councillor relations.

A 5-4 situation emerged with a group of Labor councillors in control and Stephen in the minority as an independent with two Liberals and a Green.

Much of the disagreement related to council's ownership of approximately $20 million worth of land and buildings occupied by the Mannacare, an integrated aged care provider delivering everything from high and low care beds, to respite care, home maintenance, HACC, planned activity groups and rehabilitation.

Stephen served on the MCA board for more than two years and on resigning from the board in 2012, MCA CEO Ross Dawson wrote, in part:


I've just got back from leave and found an extract from the local paper on my desk advising of your resignation from Council.

I'm really sorry you felt you had to go early but I can appreciate you could only take so much angst.

For my part, having worked with you over the last few years I have complete confidence in your honour and integrity. You have demonstrated in practical ways that you are a man of principle who is not afraid to stand up to corporate or political bullies or miscreants. I hold you in high regard.

I have really appreciated your consistent and solid support for MCA through all our troubled times.

Hopefully this email will contribute in some small way to counterbalancing the negative rubbish that you have to put up with.

Regards, Ross Dawson

Similarly, long serving City of Manningham chief financial officer Rob Spargo sent the following email to Stephen when he resigned:

Good morning Stephen,

We all knew the day would come when you would have to resign to follow the Melbourne track ..... but I didn't expect that it would end like this.

I have great admiration for your dedication and tireless work for the people of Manningham and for your support of the staff at Council when beset upon by belligerent forces. I, perhaps more than others, have been able to continue on because of the good governance of yourself and other Councillors.

Wishing you and the family the very best of fortune...

Regards, Rob Spargo